Aer Lingus union urges Ministers to vote against CEO's pay package

Thursday 10 April 2014 19.35
Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller was paid a basic salary of €475,000 in 2013, plus bonuses of €400,000 and €420,000
Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller was paid a basic salary of €475,000 in 2013, plus bonuses of €400,000 and €420,000

The union representing Aer Lingus pilots and cabin crew has urged Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Transport Minister Leo Varadkar to vote against the €1.5m pay package of chief executive Christoph Mueller at the airline's AGM next month.

In recent weeks it has emerged that Mr Mueller was paid a basic salary of €475,000 in 2013.

However, he also received two additional bonuses of €400,000 and €420,000, as well as a pension contribution of €175,000, bringing the total package to almost €1.5 million. 

In the letters sent to the two ministers yesterday, IMPACT National Secretary Matt Staunton described the salary and bonus package as an "insult to staff". 

He noted that staff were facing cuts in their pensions of "20% or worse", had suffered declines in income, and had also been informed of an 80% cut in their gainsharing scheme. 

He urged the Government to use its 25% stake in the airline to vote against the remuneration report at the Aer Lingus AGM on May 2. 

Mr Staunton told Michael Noonan and Leo Varadkar that while the remuneration of the chief executive is a matter for the Aer Lingus board, it remains possible for the Government to voice its concerns on these developments, and to "act decisively where necessary". 

The pilots' branch of IMPACT, IALPA, has also urged its members with shares in the airline to vote against the remuneration resolution at the AGM. 

The high-level Expert Panel appointed by the Government in a bid to resolve the complex aviation pension dispute is due to issue its latest update on Monday.

Minister Varadkar confirmed that he had received the letter and had sought details of the remuneration package. 

He said that he wanted to know all the facts before he made his decision. 

The Department of Finance said Minister Michael Noonan would consider the letter when he received it.